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Old 11th December 2018, 22:40
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Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

Hello everyone,


I have conflicting wartime documents regarding the exact time of the end of the war in Europe. The surrender document signed by Jodl ion 0241 hours on 7 May 1945 states 23:01 CET 8 May:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_of...surrender2.jpg


A telegram sent by Dönitz to Ritter von Greim mentions that the surrender agreement was signed at 0241hours on 7 May 1945, but states that every ongoing combat activity had to be abandoned only on 0100 hours on 9 May 1945 German summer time (which, as far as I could find out, was basically CET).

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22456/lot/161/

So, why the difference?


Thanks,
Roger
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Old 12th December 2018, 21:39
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

CET was GMT +1 hr while German Summer Time was GMT + 2 hr. British Double Summer Time (which Allied forces were on) was also GMT + 2. So the intent was to stop fighting at 1 minute after "midnight" of May 8, i.e. at 1 minute into May 9 for the fighting forces for both sides.

A surrender of 23:01 CET on May 8 would have been 0001 on May 9 for German Summer Time. I wonder if a error was made and what should have been 0001 German Summer Time on May 9 got transmitted as 0100, May 9.


Here is a reference to stopping 1 minute after midnight in the UPI archives.

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1945/05...1123163084011/

"The surrender is effective one minute after midnight Wednesday, British double summer time."

Last edited by RSwank; 13th December 2018 at 02:37.
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Old 12th December 2018, 22:55
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gaemperle View Post
Hello everyone,

I have conflicting wartime documents regarding the exact time of the end of the war in Europe. The surrender document signed by Jodl ion 0241 hours on 7 May 1945 states 23:01 CET 8 May:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_of...surrender2.jpg

A telegram sent by Dönitz to Ritter von Greim mentions that the surrender agreement was signed at 0241hours on 7 May 1945, but states that every ongoing combat activity had to be abandoned only on 0100 hours on 9 May 1945 German summer time (which, as far as I could find out, was basically CET).

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22456/lot/161/

So, why the difference?

Thanks,
Roger
I would trust an authenticated wartime document as opposed to an entry in wikipedia. And more than one 'surrender' document was signed. https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=78
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Old 13th December 2018, 09:50
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Re: Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

Jost to complicate life, my Dad told me that during his Army service 0000 was never used for midnight because if you wrote “0000 on 4 May” you might mean either the midnight of 3/4 May or that of 4/5 May. Hence midnight was always 2359 or 0001.

And a question of my own: I've read that In Czechoslovakia Feldmarschall Schörner demanded that his troops fight on regardless (just before he put on civvies and fled), so combat against the Soviets carried on for some time afterward. What I've never seen is when it actually stopped — does anyoen know?
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Old 13th December 2018, 12:44
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Beale View Post
Jost to complicate life, my Dad told me that during his Army service 0000 was never used for midnight because if you wrote “0000 on 4 May” you might mean either the midnight of 3/4 May or that of 4/5 May. Hence midnight was always 2359 or 0001.

And a question of my own: I've read that In Czechoslovakia Feldmarschall Schörner demanded that his troops fight on regardless (just before he put on civvies and fled), so combat against the Soviets carried on for some time afterward. What I've never seen is when it actually stopped — does anyoen know?
Soviet and German troops fought in Prague area until 11th May 1945. A good start to check this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague_Offensive#9_May

I also remember that a part of the German SS in Courland refused to surrender and try to march to Germany through forests. I remember reading of a battle between one of these groups and Soviet troops on 18th May (from memory).

Regarding the main focus of this forum (air war) a pilot of 400 Sqn RCAF was killed, possibly by Flak, off Denmark on 9 May (see https://www.airmen.dk/p479.htm) and Soviet aircraft flying war patrols attacked Allied aircraft in error on 9 and 11 May
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Old 13th December 2018, 14:19
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Re: Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

Thank you Ed. I found scans of various original surrender documents at the German Bundesarchiv website. All mention 23:01 CET (=00:01 German or British time).

Since there is no logic explanation like the difference of the time zones, it may well be that the time 01:00 in the telegram was indeed a mistake and should have read 00:01.

It probably didn't make a big difference as those who wanted to lay down arms did so anyways before midnight and those few who tried to continue most likely did even after midnight.

Cheers, Roger
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Old 13th December 2018, 17:57
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

You're welcome, Roger.
Ed
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Old 13th December 2018, 18:02
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Re: Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Beale View Post
Jost to complicate life, my Dad told me that during his Army service 0000 was never used for midnight because if you wrote “0000 on 4 May” you might mean either the midnight of 3/4 May or that of 4/5 May. Hence midnight was always 2359 or 0001.

And a question of my own: I've read that In Czechoslovakia Feldmarschall Schörner demanded that his troops fight on regardless (just before he put on civvies and fled), so combat against the Soviets carried on for some time afterward. What I've never seen is when it actually stopped — does anyoen know?
Strange things were happening in Czechoslovakia and the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia (both had official stamps with Hitler's likeness issued). Me-262s were called in to help quell the "uprising" in Czechoslovakia. I am also researching what was going on at the University at Brno. I hope the following helps:

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=310
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Old 19th December 2018, 14:42
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Re: Exact time of end of the war in Europe?

Just came across this original document, that may explain why in some documents 00:01 hours was mentioned and in some 01:00 hours. It was a message from Dönitz to the Wehrmacht commanders on 7 May 1945 and stated "...by May 9, 1945 at 0000 hours, all active combat is to cease, no vessel, aircraft of any kind to be destroyed or damaged, and after 0100 hours all German Forces to obey commands from Allied and Supreme Soviet Commanders, or punishments will be exacted by those forces on Germany."

Source: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24254/lot/1239/
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